Ayoola is the absolute favorite child, pretty, desirable, but also a bit simple-minded and fascinated by self-promotion on Instagram. Korede, on the other hand, is hardworking, works as a nurse, and is constantly striving to clean up after her sister. But what’s the best way to make corpses disappear without a trace?

A thriller from Nigeria, that is something completely different. In the state things are different and Oyinkan Braithwaite manages with simple words to explain difficult facts and to lead the reader into the African customs and culture. Without lecturing or inserting lengthy chapters, she describes the culture and political situations. At the same time, she always remains exciting and humorous. Situational comedy alternates with sarcasm, introverted feelings with extroverted sibling love. It is not possible to tell much about the story, otherwise I would spoil too much. Just this much: the characters are cleverly chosen and well described. One is quickly engrossed in the story and wonders about the direction that will be taken, is then also surprised again and again by twists that one would not have expected. In places the thriller is structured and progresses in a different way to what you are used to, which is refreshing and really fun. A bit like going on holiday in Nigeria.

My Sister, the Serial Killer is a real page-turner that manages without much violence and still builds up suspense. The relationship between the sisters is in the foreground, but is so cleverly described that it does not turn into a boring family novel. The German audiobook with narrator Sabina Godec is also recommended. Definitely one of the books you should have read in 2020.


Oyinkan Braithwaite – My Sister, the Serial Killer
Doubleday Books, 2020
240 pages